When premature babies need to go to the operating table


Maximum concentration: The small patient demands your full attention in the operating room.
Image: Lucas Bauml

The risk of something going wrong during anesthesia increases the younger the patient is. At the Bürger Hospital in Frankfurt, efforts are made to completely avoid general anesthesia for infants. How this can be achieved.

DThe automatic sliding door opens. A man in a blue coat and mask enters the operating room. The eyes of the other four people in the room immediately turn to him. “Now let’s look at the little one,” says Julius Wermelt, head of the anesthesiology department at Frankfurt Citizen’s Hospital. Five people are standing around an operating table, all dressed in blue scrubs. Under the bright light, the six-week-old baby lying on the operating table seems even smaller.

A digital thermometer hanging on the wall reads 25 degrees. The baby always wears a woolen hat and is wrapped in foil and blankets. Matteo, who actually has a different name, is a premature baby and weighs less than two and a half kilos. Her due date would have actually been that day. Instead, it’s been around for a few weeks now.

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